Withdrawal advice please. Very scared!!

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Hi

So I started back on citalopram just over 4 years ago (20mg) about 7 weeks ago my anxiety/panic came back and my GP thought maybe they had stopped working so put me on sertraline (25mg) for the first 12 days I took citalopram 1 day then sertraline the next and so on for 12 days. After that I stopped the citalopram completely and stayed on the sertraline. For 2 weeks I stayed on 25mg then went up to50mg. I was only on 50mg for 3 days then went back down to 25mg as 50 wasn't agreeing with me.

Anyway I was in hospital a few days ago as my QT was prolonged and I was acting hysterically. Since then I have been told to stop sertraline altogether by GP. So for the past 5 days iv only had a 25mg tablet (but nothing for 2 days) , just taking 10mg of propranalol 3x a day. Anyway since my first stopped dose iv been struggling to sleep. My body just won't let me, for 3 days I got no sleep at all!! The past 2 nights iv prob only managed 3-4 hours on and off.

I'm not sure if I'll be getting withdrawal from the citalopram or the sertraline. I was on sertraline just short of 4 weeks but was on citalopram before that for 4 years. Iv never ever had trouble sleeping.

Also my resting heart rate is between 90 and 100 all the time even though I'm taking propranalol.

Would you say I'm withdrawing from citalopram or the sertaline? I'm very concerned with it only been a few days that the withdrawal will hit me later as it's only been a few days.

I am getting the electric brain zaps which are horrid but I'm used to them having had them before.

Any advice would be so much appreciated x

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  • Posted

    My guess is that you are withdrawing from the citalopram as you were on it for so long.

    Why did the sertraline not agree with you ?

    Are you dizzy and nauseas ?

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    • Posted

      All seemed OK initially, few side effects but nothing major. But from the increase I started having a really bad tummy, increased anxiety and I was just hysterical!!!! Thought I would have a nervous breakdown!

      I'm really struggling the sleep at the moment but never ever had any problems with sleep. I get a really strange sensation when I'm about to drift off in to deep sleep and my body (or brain) just won't let me get past that barrier. I'm actually really scared. It seems to be getting worse! Just tried for the past hour to try and sleep but I can't even though I'm feeling relaxed! X

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  • Posted

    Leading up to them 'stopping', did you go through anything stressful in your life?  Meds don't usually stop working.

    I know nothing about switching from one meds and introducing another at the same time, but I know about withdrawing as I spent this last year coming off Citalopram.  Withdrawl takes months and months, so I'm wondering if switching like you did has caused withdrawal of one plus at the same time side effects of another.  Not surprised you felt so ill.

    Yep, you're having withdrawl if you're having brain zaps.  I've had them too, and agree, not nice.  Expect its withdrawl from Citalopram and Sertraline together.  Your body hasn't known whether its been coming or going lately.

    Personally I'd reintroduce a tiny amount Citalopram again, but you must see your doctor about it since you've been in hospital with a prolonged QT.  Was the QT a result of the mixed meds or is it inherited?

    K xxx

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    • Posted

      The prolonged QT is apparently due to the sertraline. They withdrew it for a day and it went down. That's why they withdrew the sertraline. The last 3 iv had over the past 4 weeks iv had an inverted T wave but I don't know if that's normal for me or not. Antidepressants can cause a prolonged QT interval.

      It started with a really bad d&v bug and just carried on from there. After 2 weeks my gp thought maybe not working anymore or I'd built up tolerance to them so switched.

      It's the sleep thing that's concerning me most. It's an awful experience and very scary. As I'm drifting off I can't explain what wakes me out of going in to a Deep sleep and my heart beats really fast! This only started when they withdrew the sertraline that night in hospital on Tuesday evening. Although early hours of wed morning (4am) I took a 25mg tablet as at this point I wasn't aware they had withdrawn it (doctors told me nothing) but I was still having the same sleep problem. Didn't sleep for 52 hours! The past 2 nights iv managed 3-4 hours but it's taken me around 5 hours of trying and having that constant wake before I go to sleep. I'm exahausted! X

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    • Posted

      You may not be allowed meds then at the moment due to the QT - but its best to see your doctor about that as I know nothing about the correlation between the two.

      There's the answer then.  There's always something that happens in the lead up to the symptoms coming back.  The d&v bug just dragged your body down I suspect - it sometimes doesn't take much for the anxiety etc to reappear, especially if you feel stressed too.  The meds do not stop working.  It was just your body reacting to a bug.  If anything, you should have just waited for the bug to go and you'd have found in time the anxiety etc would have lifted.  Might have taken a month or so, but reckon it would have gone.

      Anway ..... its now you're having problems with.  Can't believe the doctors didn't tell you they'd withdrawn it - are you supposed to guess?

      Do see your doctor and see if reinstating a small amount of Citalopram would be ok due to the QT.  That's what I'd do first.

      Blimey, no wonder you feel rough - 52 hours without sleep?!  I imagine sleep will slowly return in time.  You're going through an exhausting time at the moment, so treat youself gently (though I expect you are already).  Glad tohear you managed 3-4 hours sleep, still not a lot, but better than none.  You could see your doctor about melatonin tablets (our sleep hormone) - it may just tide you over.  Fast heart beating isn't nice - I had it once and I had to get out of bed and I paced round and round the room.

      I hope your doctor is seeing you regularly - but do go discuss meds with him.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Is it possible you were not absorbing the cit if you had a d and v bug. So you started withdrawing. So did not stop working.
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    • Posted

      I took my citalopram in the morning and d&v started on the night and was only sick throughout the night. It was the diarrhoea that persisted for a while. So I never vomited up my tablet. Wish I had just stuck it out with my cbt instead of changing meds but I suppose at the time your just willing to try anything to help x

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    • Posted

      Hello Claire I saw you were on SSRI for anxiety and panic. Right now I feel like I'm just existing not living at all my anxiety and panic is 24/7. I'm on Sertraline 50mg and it has helped some but I'm nowhere near myself again. Basically you said that Cit made you feel normal again? I'm having a hard time believing that my SSRI will work .i just wanna be my normal self again

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  • Posted

    Also.....I was dubious about going back on citalopram even at just 10mg. (I was on 20mg before) as the side effects of increased anxiety were really bad for me. So I'm worried if I introduce it again I'm going to go through all that again.

    I will speak to my GP if things don't settle.

    Secondly how soon do you experience withdrawal? I know I'm having brain zaps which indicates withdrawal but will I get any more withdrawl effects? Different ones As the withdrawl progresses? Also do they intensify as time goes on? I know it's only been a few days for me. I know sertraline has a short half life of around 26 hours. I think citalopram is short too but not sure x

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    • Posted

      They feel like little electric shocks in your head. I feel them all over my face. It's very strange but they are very common. They are not painful (not for me anyway) but are uncomfortable x

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    • Posted

      Mmm it might be that just a little reintroduction of 5mg may not give you side effects at the moment as some is still in your body.  Best speak to your doctor and I suppose you can only try if he agrees?  I understand your concerns though xx

      Everyone experiences withdrawal differently.  When I had it it lasted a long time, though not that scary, just annoying and a bit unpleasant.  I had nauseau, dizziness, brain zaps, headaches, heavy head feeling and I found I'd cry at anything.  Mine didn't intensify as time went on, but I do remember not having all those withdrawl effects together - as one wore off I'd get another???  Brain zaps lasted a long time, though they got weaker.

       

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    • Posted

      Also.....I was dubious about going back on citalopram even at just 10mg. (I was on 20mg before) as the side effects of increased anxiety were really bad for me. So I'm worried if I introduce it again I'm going to go through all that again.

      I will speak to my GP if things don't settle.

      Secondly how soon do you experience withdrawal? I know I'm having brain zaps which indicates withdrawal but will I get any more withdrawl effects? Different ones As the withdrawl progresses? Also do they intensify as time goes on? I know it's only been a few days for me. I know sertraline has a short half life of around 26 hours. I think citalopram is short too but not sure x

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    • Posted

      Sorry to chip in too ..... yes agree, they're like little electric shocks in the head, and they also remind me of when you see a TV programme and the picture goes bzzzzzzz and the picture moves as if short circuiting???

      No they're not painful - last a fraction of a second - but just weird.

       

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